iTunes, mp3s, and organization

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ghostee, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. ghostee macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Villa Park, IL
    I'm new to mac, using iTunes on OSX. I've added all the MP3's that I had on my old PC via iTunes. I've also downloaded a bunch of albums (not from iTunes) and added those. What I find though is that iTunes does a crummy job of organizing the songs. If there is no track number set in the field, it seems to ignore the standard labeling (track#-artist-song or track#-song) and arrange the songs alphabetically. This is really annoying if you're trying to play an album in the order it was intended. Is this common or is there an option somewhere I am not seeing to fix this?

    But my question to you all is how do you organize your music? Do you import everything through iTunes and let it organize in it's own way? Do you use another MP3 player instead? Or is there software to sort through all the files and correct the tags so they organize correctly?
  2. GovornorPhatt macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2003
    Where do YOU live?
    To change a tag on a song (or tag data for multiple songs), first select the song(s) that you wish to change. Then go to the file menu in iTunes and choose "Get Info (or hit apple-I) and you will be presented with a window telling you information about that track (or tracks). Once at that window, go to the info tab. You can then change the tags for that song.

    iTunes by default organizes your song by title. This can be annoying if you want to sample songs on an album for example. Above each column in the library or playlists is a header (ex. Artist, Song Name). Click on one of those to sort by that header.

    As for correcting the tags, to my knowledge, no program exists to correct all of the tags for you. However, iTunes can search the CDDB database and get track info from there. This is a good method for importing cds.

    Good luck on organizing your music collection,
  3. ghostee thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2004
    Villa Park, IL
    Thanks for the response.

    I do know how to edit the tags and sort by headers, but when you have hundreds of songs it would be a real pain to pull album info and insert track numbers for every song. The funny part is that a lot of these files have the album number in the filename, but iTunes seems to ignore this.

    As for the CDDB database, iTunes always tells me that CDDB information is not availble, no matter how mainstream the song is.

    Anyone else with suggestions?
  4. ifjake macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2004
    i don't know why it isn't recognizing the songs. maybe they're illegal. but there's a little eye button that is on the top right corner of the iTunes window called "browse," and when you click that it organizes your music by artist and/or album. i added the track collumn and always have it organized by that, but most of the time it's set on that browse mode.
  5. flmflm macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2004
    mp3's track numbers and organisation

    Hi. I think I had the same problem. The solution is simple. Just right-click (or ctrl+click) in the top bar of the itunes browser (where it says title, Album, Artist name, etc.). A menu will appear allowing you to choose the fields you want to see, as 'track number'. voilà!

  6. HexMonkey Administrator


    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    New Zealand
    I just wrote an AppleScript to set this information. It's not thoroughly tested and does not have extensive error checking, so keep that in mind. Here's what it does:

    *It loops through all the tracks of the front playlist. So if you want it to go through your whole library, make sure your library is selected, otherwise I'd suggest created a temporary playlist with the songs you want it to go through.
    *It checks to see how many parts the name has (defined as being separated by a hyphen). If there is 1, the script effectively does nothing. If there are 2, it uses the track#-song format (eg "2-TheSong.mp3"). If there are 3 (or more), it uses the track#-artist-song format, and any extra parts are included in the tack name. Eg "3-TheArtist-The-Song.mp3" will come out with track number 3, artist "TheArtist", and name "The-Song".
    *If the first part is not an integer, it is ignored, and the track number is not changed.
    *No other fields are changed.

    To use the script, follow these instructions:

    1. Open /Applications/AppleScript/Script Editor.
    2. Type in the following code:

    tell application "iTunes"
    	set theTracks to every track of view of browser window 1
    	set delim to AppleScript's text item delimiters
    	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to {"-"}
    	repeat with trackNo from 1 to (count of theTracks)
    		set trackName to name of item trackNo of theTracks
    		set numWords to count of text items of trackName
    			set currTrack_track to text item 1 of trackName as integer
    		on error
    			set currTrack_track to -1
    		end try
    		if numWords is greater than 1 then
    			if numWords is greater than 2 then
    				set currTrack_song to text items 3 thru numWords of trackName as string
    				set currTrack_artist to text item 2 of trackName
    				set currTrack_song to text item 2 of trackName
    				set currTrack_artist to ""
    			end if
    			set currTrack_song to trackName
    			set currTrack_artist to ""
    		end if
    		if currTrack_track is greater than -1 then
    			set track number of item trackNo of theTracks to currTrack_track
    		end if
    		if currTrack_artist is not equal to "" then
    			set artist of item trackNo of theTracks to currTrack_artist
    		end if
    		set name of item trackNo of theTracks to currTrack_song
    	end repeat
    	set AppleScript's text item delimiters to delim
    end tell
    3. Make sure iTunes is open with the correct playlist selected
    4. Click the Run button in Script Editor.
    5. If you want to save the script for further use, save as script, and save it in Home/Library/iTunes/Scripts. Then you can use it from the Scripts menu in iTunes.

    If you have any problems with the script, or want it to use a different naming format, separator etc, please tell me and I will do my best to help.
  7. About2SwitchOvr macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2004
    NIFTY script.. I think...:p

    I'm still fairly new to Mac, and love reading/browsing these scripts..
    Anywho, back to the topic at hand, I had a similar problem. Granted, I have only about 250 songs.. I too transferred them over from my PC.
    I edited the tags for the songs that actually let me. As for the other songs, as soon as I edited the tag, it would revert to the original. So to correct this, I converted it to an MP3 (one of the options under the menu) eventhough I THOUGHT it was an MP3 (maybe it was just a differeny layer or something..). But once converted, every single tag I updated, stuck.. which was a relief.
    I don't know if this works, but it was painful for me to do it for about 100 songs or so... But, once it's done, it's done. :)

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